La Verne, CA -- The Beloit College Men's Basketball team opened their California Trip in exciting fashion, holding on for 70-69 overtime win at the University of La Verne.
Senior James Lazarcik made the game extra special by becoming the 20th member of the Beloit 1,000-Point Club with a pair of free throws at the 11:36 mark of the second half. His 20 points, along with 11 rebounds, gives him 1,006, good for 18th place on the list.
After the Leopards jumped out to an 8-2 lead two-plus minutes into the game the Bucs went on a 13-6 run to give them their first lead at 15-14 with 12:02 left. The game remained tight for the remainder of the half, with La Verne leading 31-29 at the break.
The Leos came out of the lockerroom on a 9-4 run to take a 40-33 lead. But Beloit responded with a five-minute 11-0 run for a 44-40 lead with 12:20 left. After see-sawing back and forth for a few minutes, they grabbed a 50-49 lead with 9:20 remaining, a lead that held up until La Verne hit a put-back layin with two seconds left to tie the game at 62-all and force the extra period.
In OT the Leopards led early until a Lazarcik jumper midway through the five-minute period put the Buccaneers up 66-64. Steve McAfee made it 68-64 with two free throws at 2:12. The Leos cut it to one with 1:37 left before Lazarcik hit two free throws with 1:10 remaining to put Beloit up 70-67.
Holding a 70-69 lead with two seconds left, Joe Poshepny blocked a three-point attempt out of bounds and La Verne missed a shot at the buzzer, giving the Bucs their third straight win.
In addition to Lazarcik, McAfee also had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Rudy Bentley, in his first game for the Buccaneers, had 13 points and five assists.
Beloit doesn't have much time to enjoy the win as they turn their attention to a Monday afternoon game at the University of Redlands. Tip is at 4:00 p.m. Central time.